Thousand Oaks, CA. — Down to its final out, down to its final strike, the Williams College softball team got up off the mat and won a thriller Wednesday afternoon, deafeating Cal Lutheran 5-3 in nine innings in the nightcap of a doubleheader.
There was extra softball all around Wednesday, as the first game of the day between the same two teams also went extras, with the Regals coming out on top, 7-6, with a walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth inning.
With the split, Williams sits at 4-4 heading into a day off Thursday. The Ephs will be back in action Friday at Pomona Pitzer for a twinbill beginning at 12 p.m. PST.
The Ephs trailed 2-0 heading into the top of the seventh inning of the nightcap. Regal hurler Olivia Serrano had blanked Williams over the first six frames and retired the first two batters of the seventh.
That brought up Eph sophomore Casey Pelz, who put on a gritty at-bat, fouling off three two-strike pitches before drawing a walk. Kristina Alvarado followed with a single to right. Ali Michalik then sent a hard grounder to second which was misplayed, allowing pinch-runner Rebecca Duncan to score from second.
Jessica Kim walked to load the bases for junior Lexi Curt, who sizzled a grounder to the hole between short and third. In a bang-bang play at third, Michalik beat the throw, allowing Alvarado to score the tying run, but then slid off the bag and was tagged out, ending the inning.
With the tiebreaker in effect for the top of the eight, Curt started out at second base. Mackenzie Murphy sacrificed her to third, where she stayed until Alejandra Magana came up with two outs and singled to left to put Williams ahead 3-2.
The Regals were not finished quite yet however. Serrano sacrificed a runner to third with one out in the bottom of the eighth an Amanda Lewis followed with a sacrifice fly that re-tied the game at three.
Williams would score twice in the top of the ninth to regain the lead. Brenna Martinez was placed on second to start the inning and Pelz sacrificed her to third. Alvarado then launched a triple to deep center field for a 4-3 lead and scored an insurance run on a throwing error after a strikeout.
First year Rebecca Duncan made that work, retiring the Regals in order to secure the win. She hurled 3 2/3 innings of relief, allowing just two hits and an unearned run while not walking a batter and striking out two. Classmate Riley Salvo got the start for the Ephs, going the first 5 1/3 frames, giving up nine hits and two runs while not walking a batter and fanning four.
The Ephs had seven hits in the win, with Alvarado going 2 for 4 with an RBI an two runs scored.
Williams dropped a tight 7-6 contest in eight innings in the first game of the day. The Ephs took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Kim led off the game with an opposite-field triple and scored on Curt's RBI-single. With two outs, Salvo launched an RBI-double to score Curt.
The Regals took over from there however, scoring three times in the first, twice in the third and once in the fourth to build a 6-2 lead. A big four-run sixth inning tied the score for the Ephs. Murphy led off the inning with a double. After an out, Salvo doubled down the right-field line to score her and make it 6-3.
With two outs, first year Emma Corbett ripped a double down the left-field line that scored Salvo and Magana to make it 6-5. Alvarado then came through with a looping liner to left that fell for a single and scored Corbett with the tying run.
However, the Ephs went down in order in both the seventh and eighth innings. In the Cal Lutheran eighth, Alyssa Anderson delivered a two-out, bases-loaded single back up the middle to end the contest.
Murphy took the loss, hurlign the final 2 1/3 for the Ephs, and allowing one hit, one unearned run, and walking one batter. Duncan got the start and went the first 3 1/3, giving up six hits and six runs, but only two earned, while walking one and striking out one.
Williams had 10 hits, including six doubles and a triple, in the loss. Corbett was 2 for 3 with two RBI. Salvo, Curt and Kim were each 2 for 4.